Quotations of Wisdom

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Sargent Shriver

Respect for another man's opinion is worthy. It is the realization that any opinion is valuable, for it is the sign of a rational being. [Q289]

Margaret Mead

One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night. [Q1427]

Thomas Paine

Suspicion is the companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society. [Q272]

Tracy Chapman

We are the spirit the collective conscience. — From the lyrics of "Heaven's Here on Earth, Album New Beginning" [Q1493]


I seek not to know all the answers but to understand the questions. — Kung Fu Television Series 1972 - Episode # 14 [Q528]

Senator Paul Simon

Issues rise and fall in public attention. Records from my state government years at the Illinois State Historical Library archive show correspondence on 336 issues from 1954 through 1972, and neither guns nor abortion made the top 336. That has changed!

I am not sure what made the gun issue suddenly erupt on the national scene. It could be that the rise in the crime rate caused people to look at our gun laws, and then the relatively quite National Rifle Association became more militant.

Sometimes the NRA people are obnoxious. In Godfrey, Illinois, the NRA members stacked a town meeting. ... One woman rose and said her daughter had been killed by teenagers with guns in St. Louis. ... one jumped up and shouted, "They could have killed her with a baseball bat." ... Give me a choice of someone coming at me with a baseball bat or a gun and I can make the choice easily!.



The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. [Q785]

Miles Davis

Don't play what's there, play what's not there. [Q2052]

John Charles Polanyi

It is this, at its most basic, that makes science a humane pursuit; it acknowledges the commonality of people's experience. [Q380]

Lloyd Bentsen

Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy [Q1307]

Thomas J. Watson

The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it's very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. The essence of trust building is to emphasize the similarities between you and the customer. [Q1203]

George Carlin

It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. [Q1597]

Stanisław Jerzy Lec

The weakest link in a chain is the strongest because it can break it. [Q1736]

Senator Paul Simon

The Telecommunication Act of 1996 passed overwhelmingly. I cast one of six votes against it. The measure contained some good things, but it opened the door wide for concentrated ownership in radio and television. Since its passage there has been a huge shift in radio toward a few large corporations owning all the major outlets. In St. Louis, for example, six of the fourteen stations are now owned by one corporation that has holdings all over the nation. The value of radio stations shot up after the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and soon the top three corporations in radio ownership had sold everything to one company ... Can I say that up to this point this has caused any harm? No, but it will. — (Paul Simon's Autobiography, page 297) [Q1817]

Senator Paul Simon

If this American bloodshed in the defense of freedom of the press and the right of every American citizen to think, speak, and print his own honest opinions — be not signally vindicated, our representative institutions, our boasted freedom ... will become and deserves to become, the scoff and derision of the world. — The New York American (Op-Ed addressing the mob murder of Elijah Lovejoy) [Q1889]

Wendell Berry

It is useless to try to adjudicate a long-standing animosity by asking who started it or who is the most wrong. [Q1338]


Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them. [Q840]

John J. Sweeney

For globalization to work for America, it must work for working people. We should measure the success of our economy by the breadth of our middle class, and the scope of opportunity offered to the poorest child to climb into that middle class. [Q439]

Thomas Jefferson

We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it. [Q196]

René Descartes

The two operations of our understanding, intuition and deduction, on which alone we have said we must rely in the acquisition of knowledge. [Q1125]

Julia Robinson

We aren't pushing a particular agenda, but we're opening a dialogue on how we need to be doing something different. We think it is positive to talk about ideas. We selected the university to do that because the university is intended to be a place where you can debate ideas without being polarized. [Q1643]

Thurgood Marshall

Today's Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness that I and other Blacks cherish. [Q757]

Bertrand Russell

The fundamental concept in social science is Power, in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics. [Q214]

Saul Alinsky

Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict. [Q990]

Jimi Hendrix

Music is my religion. [Q638]

Miles Davis

I'll play it first and tell you what it is later. [Q2056]

Thomas Jefferson

The truth is that the want of common education with us is not from our poverty, but from the want of an orderly system. More money is now paid for the education of a part than would be paid for that of the whole if systematically arranged. [Q535]

Stephen Jay Gould

The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best - and therefore never scrutinize or question. [Q1809]

Benjamin Franklin

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing. [Q1880]

Alan Greenspan

I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms. [Q1069]

Buckminster Fuller

While it takes but meager search to discover that many well-known concepts are false, it takes considerable search and even more careful examination of one's own personal experiences and inadvertently spontaneous reflexing to discover that there are many popularly and even professionally unknown, yet nonetheless fundamental, concepts to hold true in all cases and that already have been discovered by other as yet obscure individuals. That is to say that many scientific generalizations have been discovered but have not come to the attention of what we call the educated world at large, thereafter to be incorporated tardily within the formal education processes, and even more tardily, in the ongoing political-economic affairs of everyday life. Knowledge of the existence and comprehensive significance of these as yet popularly unrecognized natural laws often is requisite to the solution of many of the as yet unsolved problems now confronting society. Lack of knowledge of the solution's existence often leaves humanity confounded when it need not be. — The Wellspring of Reality [Q178]

Bible - Matthew 7:2

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. [Q427]

Senator Paul Simon

With flawed understanding, I try to reach reality in religion. But I know my understanding is flawed, and that helps to avoid excessively dogmatic assertions. [Q1696]

George Washington

Overgrown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican liberty. — His Farewell Address, 1796 [Q1867]

Woody Guthrie

All you can write is what you see. [Q1042]


Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others. [Q664]

Alice in Wonder Land

If you drink much from a bottle marked 'poison' it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later. [Q1980]

Joseph Pulitzer

I know that my retirement will make no difference in its cardinal principles, that it will always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, and never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty. [Q1386]

Kurt Gödel

Learn to act correctly: everybody has shortcomings, believes in something wrong, and live to carry out his mistakes. [Q1967]

Neil deGrasse Tyson

After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all? [Q231]

Bible - Timothy 6:6

But godliness with contentment is great gain. [Q916]

Dante Alighieri

O conscience, upright and stainless, how bitter a sting to thee is a little fault! [Q1512]

Duke Fightmaster

You can't just put your head down and soldier on for two and a half years, at some point you have to look up and if you see you that say your wife, sidekick isn't in the audience you correct your course - Act Two, This American Life, Last Man Standing [Q1205]

Dante Alighieri

The secret of getting things done is to act! [Q1516]

Henry David Thoreau

However mean your life is, meet it and live it: do not shun it and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts. God will see that you do want society. [Q653]

Jim Lehrer

Best I can do for them is to give them every piece of information I can find and let them make the judgments. That's just my basic view of my function as a journalist. [Q475]

Michel de Montaigne

I write to keep from going mad from the contradictions I find among mankind - and to work some of those contradictions out for myself. [Q1170]

Nikola Tesla

Fights between individuals, as well as governments and nations, invariably result from misunderstandings in the broadest interpretation of this term. Misunderstandings are always caused by the inability of appreciating one another's point of view. This again is due to the ignorance of those concerned, not so much in their own, as in their mutual fields. The peril of a clash is aggravated by a more or less predominant sense of combativeness, posed by every human being. To resist this inherent fighting tendency the best way is to dispel ignorance of the doings of others by a systematic spread of general knowledge. With this object in view, it is most important to aid exchange of thought and intercourse. [Q1682]

Lily Tomlin

Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past. [Q1945]

Meister Eckhart

Words derive their power from the original word. [Q1639]

Albert Einstein

One thing I have learned in a long life: All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike - and yet it is the most precious thing we have. [Q145]

Elbert Hubbart

It is easy to get everything you want, provided you first learn to do without the things you cannot get. [Q1384]


For to err in opinion, though it be not the part of wise men, is at least human. [Q776]

Isaac Newton

If I have done the public any service, it is due to my patient thought. [Q601]

Richard M Nixon

We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another - until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices. [Q308]


There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will. [Q824]

Sinclair Lewis

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross. — Summarization of his book It Can't Happen Here. [Q658]

Winston Smith

A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. In principle, the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects. And its object is not victory over Eurasia or Eastasia, but to keep the very structure of society intact. — George Orwell's 1984 [Q297]

Herbert Simon

The social sciences, I thought, needed the same kind of rigor and the same mathematical underpinnings that had made the "hard" sciences so brilliantly successful. [Q649]

Albert Einstein

Any fool can know. The point is to understand. [Q396]

Bill Clinton

Because primarily of the power of the Internet, people of modest means can band together and amass vast sums of money that can change the world for some public good if they all agree. [Q1293]

Buckminster Fuller

A trimtab is a nautical device that acts as a small rudder used to turn the larger rudder of giant ships, offering tremendous leverage in terms of steering and changing the direction of the ship. Fuller, drawing upon his naval experience, saw the trimtab as a powerful metaphor for effective individual leadership: small and strategically placed interventions can cause large-scale and profound change. — Leadership By Design: How One Individual Can Change the World. The Leadership Principles of Buckminster Fuller. Medard Gabel and Jim Walker, 2006. [Q191]

Hideki Tōjō

I would point out that the cultural advance of these people has been suppressed in the past and continues to be suppressed in the present by policies designed to keep them in ignorance. [Q706]


Every man makes a god of his own desire. [Q1576]

Noam Chomsky

The intellectual tradition is one of servility to power, and if I didn't betray it I'd be ashamed of myself. [Q159]

Elizabeth Wordsworth

If all good people were clever, and all clever people were good, the world would be nicer than ever, we thought that it possibly could. But somehow, 'tis seldom or never that the two hit off as they should; For the good are so harsh to the clever, the clever so rude to the good. [Q119]

Ward Cunningham

I can’t tell you how much time is spent worrying about decisions that don’t matter. To just be able to make a decision and see what happens is tremendously empowering, but that means you have to set up the situation such that when something does go wrong, you can fix it. [Q1006]

Thomas Paine

Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. [Q271]

Marshall McLuhan

Where the whole man is involved there is no work. Work begins with the division of labor. [Q1489]


Such are the heights of wickedness to which men are driven by religion. [Q1564]

Barry Goldwater

To be successful, representative government assumes that elections will be controlled by the citizenry at large, not by those who give the most money. Electors must believe their votes count. Elected officials must owe there allegiance to the people, not to their own wealth or to the wealth of interest groups who speak only for the selfish fringes of the whole community. (Attributed to Barry Goldwater in Paul Simon's Autobiography, page 307) [Q1819]

Ward Cunningham

Often as you move comments around and have similar comments adjacent to each other, you find that half of the words can be cut out. Because a sentence says it all if the sentence is in just the right place. On wiki, the process has been called “refactoring,” which is what we call the process in software. Wiki is about software and it has software people on it, so they call it refactoring. Anyplace else it would probably be called editing. So on wiki, refactoring is an ongoing process. The assumption is that when something turns out to not be ideal, it will be refactored again. Everything is subject to refactoring. [Q1004]

Jesus Christ

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. — Matthew 23-13 YouTube [Q1610]

Albert Einstein

If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor. [Q121]

Lao Tzu

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. [Q1618]

The Beatles

Life is very short, and there's no time, for fussing and fighting, my friend. — We Can Work It Out [Q1373]

Buckminster Fuller

Faith is much better than belief. Belief is when someone else does the thinking. [Q107]

Arlo Guthrie

I'd rather have friends who care than friends who agree with me. [Q353]

Woodrow Wilson

I have long enjoyed the friendship and companionship of Republicans because I am by instinct a teacher, and I would like to teach them something. [Q745]

René Descartes

The first precept was never to accept a thing as true until I knew it as such without a single doubt. [Q1121]

Thor Heyerdahl

Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity. [Q1539]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our best thoughts come from others. [Q416]

Jonas Salk

When things get bad enough, then something happens to correct the course. And it is that sense I speak of evolution as an error-making and error-correctiong process. And if we can be ever so much better — ever so much slightly better — at error correcting than at error making, then we'll make it. [Q489]

Hannah Arendt

Economic growth may one day turn out to be a curse rather than a good, and under no conditions can it either lead into freedom or constitute a proof for its existence. [Q1519]

Václav Havel

Today's world, as we all know, is faced with multiple threats. From whichever angle I look at this menace, I always come to the conclusion that salvation can only come through a profound awakening of man to his own personal responsibility, which is at the same time a global responsibility. Thus, the only way to save our world, as I see it, lies in a democracy that recalls its ancient Greek roots: democracy based on an integral human personality personally answering for the fate of the community. [Q1800]


Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance. [Q693]

Carl Sagan

Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense. [Q226]

Buckminster Fuller

If humanity does not opt for integrity we are through completely. It is absolutely touch and go. Each one of us could make the difference. [Q109]

Noël Coward

It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. [Q2025]


The community which has neither poverty nor riches will always have the noblest principles. [Q894]

James William

The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community. [Q1309]

Jim Fleming

Is there an acceptable place, a meeting point between what is sacred and what is profane where we can all agree? [Q27]

John D Barrow

People assume that because you have graced the same stage as the star act, in front of thousands, you must be reaping similar financial rewards. This is a complete fallacy. [Q1050]

John Adams (HBO Miniseries)

Our first step would be to incur a national debt. The greater the debt, the greater the credit. And to that end I have recommended to the president that Congress adopt all the debts incurred by the individual states during the war through a national bank. The idea being that if the states owe Congress money, then other nations will feel more inclined to lend it to us. — (Unite or Die[5]) Alexander Hamilton [Q1134]

Thomas Szasz

If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia. [Q1521]


No law or ordinance is mightier than understanding. [Q888]

Charles Lindbergh

Isn't it strange that we talk least about the things we think about most? [Q1939]

Margaret Mead

Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. [Q1955]

Marshall McLuhan

The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist. [Q1477]

René Descartes

I think; therefore I am. [Q1117]

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